June 02, 2008

HONESTY

John Hawkins found a study about honesty among liberals and conservatives. Excerpt:

When the World Values Survey asked a similar question, the results were largely the same: Those who were very liberal were much more likely to say it was all right to get welfare benefits you didn't deserve.

The World Values Survey found that those on the left were also much more likely to say it is OK to buy goods that you know are stolen. Studies have also found that those on the left were more likely to say it was OK to drink a can of soda in a store without paying for it and to avoid the truth while negotiating the price of a car.

This reminded me of someone from my past. My husband and I were friends with a guy in college who is a staunch Democrat. He got a job at Walmart while we were in school, and he routinely stole from the store while working there. He said it was OK to steal from corporations but not from mom-and-pop stores. He took all kinds of things while working there, from a winter hat to a beautiful pipe. It was pretty appalling.

The fact that he made a distinction -- that stealing from Walmart specifically was OK -- makes me think that his stealing was related to his worldview and political affiliation. I found the whole thing shocking and toyed with the idea of calling his boss and reporting him. Luckily, he quit the job before I had to make that hard decision.

UPDATE:

CaliValleyGirl writes about her opposite experience.

For the record, I agree with John Hawkins that it's a slippery slope to saying that all liberals are less honest. But in this one situation with the person I knew, he really thought it was OK to steal from Walmart because they were a big corporation. That's a messed up relativistic attitude: the act of "stealing" doesn't change depending on who you're stealing from.

Posted by: Sarah at 10:30 AM | Comments (10) | Add Comment
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1 Good grief. I mean, I'm not saying everyone has to be like me--the crazy girl who drives back to the bank to return a pen if I walk off with it--but for cripe's sake, stealing is stealing no matter WHAT or from WHOM you're stealing. Kind of like, "well, you have a right to an opinion" (um, thanks)..."unless you disagree with me & then you're just stoooopid." Socrates and Aristotle would be so proud of the reasoning.

Posted by: Guard Wife at June 02, 2008 10:36 AM (BslEQ)

2 My mother was a jury foreperson on a civil case - a lady slipped on a step and sued the grocery store. The step was painted bright yellow and there were warning signs everywhere. The other jury members wanted to award her money, even though the store wasn't at fault, because 'the store had enough money to give some away.' Puke.

Posted by: Oda Mae at June 02, 2008 10:37 AM (tBGZb)

3 As a "staunch Democrat" I have to say this is a bunch of twaddle. And an insult. LAW

Posted by: liberal army wife at June 02, 2008 10:44 AM (tqDBA)

4 oda mae...I was on a jury for a case that was somewhat similar, except some facts were in dispute. Two things were kind of depressing: 1)The people wearing suits all seemed to want to find in favor of the store, those not wearing suits, in favor of the plaintiff. 2)Every time we started to get into a good discussion, the idiot forewoman said something like "Now, now, everyone's entitled to their opinion." She didn't seem to grasp that the whole point of the process was to arrive at a common understanding.

Posted by: david foster at June 02, 2008 10:45 AM (ke+yX)

5 That's the funny thing about juries, isn't it, David? Everyone IS entitled to an opinion, but just not in the jury room. As you said, it was to reach some common understanding of the facts so that the law the judge instructed youto apply could be so applied & a decision could be made accordingly.

Posted by: Guard Wife at June 02, 2008 12:56 PM (BslEQ)

6 I think any one who steals will use anything from politics to religion (and lets not forget "it's my parent's fault) to justify it. I mean... how else are they going to go to sleep at night? I don't think it's a reflection on "liberals" as much as it is a reflection on thieves. That's what thieves do- lie and excuse their behavior to cover up their deeds. Good grief.

Posted by: Crys at June 02, 2008 01:19 PM (dqGUK)

7 Somewhat different note - My brother went through an anti-establishment phase. He was talking about big corporations and how they make the world awful. My husband pointed out that a big corporation made the walkman he enjoyed.

Posted by: Amy at June 02, 2008 04:29 PM (QRbmz)

8 A thief is a thief, a liar is a liar. and some of the biggest liars I have ever met are staunch Republican, Born Again Christians. There - another sweeping statement. To maintain that because one is a certain colour, certain political affiliation, or a certain sex, then one will be a thief, a liar or less than honest, is foolishness. LAW

Posted by: liberal army wife at June 03, 2008 02:04 AM (A7iUf)

9 I'm not making any sweeping generalizations. I told a story about one person I know who hated evil Walmart so much that he stole from them. And I quoted an article about studies in which liberals themselves said that they steal and cheat and lie. I didn't make this up or make a blanket statement based on the one guy I knew in college that all liberals steal from Walmart.

Posted by: Sarah at June 03, 2008 02:57 AM (TWet1)

10 I'm a Democrat and i find this offensive. I find it even more ridiculous that the article makes it sound like such giant statistics when they only interviewed 156 people. 156 people of both political points. thats not even 1 percent of Americans. I also doubt that the conservatives were completely honest in answering these questions, bc they do have "higher morals" to go by. And maybe they had to keep that facade going with less than true answers. Not to say that all liberals or conservatives are liars. It goes by the person, not their politcal affiliation.

Posted by: Kati at June 05, 2008 01:45 AM (mrnzz)

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